The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw blanked the Brewers for eight innings Thursday to earn his 15th win in what ended up being a 5-1 game.
The Brewers, who had won six straight and 19 of their last 21 games, managed just five hits off Kershaw before finally scoring a run in the ninth.
Having thrown 104 pitches in eight, Kershaw didn’t get a chance to go for his third shutout of the season. Javy Guerra came in and gave up a triple to Ryan Braun and a sac fly to Prince Fielder before finishing a 5-1 game.
Kershaw had just six strikeouts today, leaving him one short of 200 for the season. He’ll still be the first National Leaguer to reach that mark this year unless Cliff Lee can fan 16 batters next time out.
It was the eighth time this season that Kershaw has gone without allowing a run. That’s tied for first in the majors with Lee. Kershaw’s Dodger teammate, Hiroki Kuroda, has done it seven times. A host of starters have done it six times apiece: Josh Beckett, Josh Collmenter, Tim Lincecum, Wandy Rodriguez, Tim Stauffer, Jason Vargas and Jered Weaver.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.